Food & Drink

USA Hamburger chain White Castle to test out Flippy kitchen robot to cut down on human contact with food

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  • Jul 15th, 2020 10:49 am
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Deal Addict
May 2, 2013
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Bloor-Yonge

USA Hamburger chain White Castle to test out Flippy kitchen robot to cut down on human contact with food

this will be very interesting. robots don't need 15 minute breaks and lunch breaks and don't call in sick. this will be very good for businesses, bad for minimum wage earners who want to work in the kitchen
July 14, 2020

White Castle has plans to usher robots into the kitchen.

The burger chain announced a partnership with the artificial intelligence firm Miso Robotics on Tuesday. Under the collaboration, White Castle will deploy Flippy, a hamburger flipping robot, later this year.

The idea is to reduce human contact with food during the cooking process and comes after many restaurants were crippled due to the pandemic, White Castle said in a statement.

"The deployment will put autonomous frying to work for enhanced production speeds, improved labor allocation and an added layer of health and safety in the cooking process," the burger chain said.

The restaurant didn't address how many workers could be displaced by robots. Though it did say that "team members can be redeployed to more customer-experience driven tasks."

White Castle has 365 restaurants nationwide and is well-known for its sliders, which you can buy frozen from supermarkets like Target and Walmart. Founded in 1921, it's also one of the oldest fast-food chains in the U.S.

Miso Robotics claims to have created the "world's first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant that can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills over time."


https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 433415002/
6 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 9, 2012
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Toronto
oicthat2013 wrote: this will be very interesting. robots don't need 15 minute breaks and lunch breaks and don't call in sick. this will be very good for businesses, bad for minimum wage earners who want to work in the kitchen
How does the burger get on the cooking surface? Flippy literally only flips the burgers and maybe cleans the grill. No job lost.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
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Mar 23, 2004
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White Castle is headed for bankruptcy or something, no? At least I thought I saw some articles/videos about their decline. Truth be told the times I've been near one in MI, I thought it was closed--place is like a ghost town. Now granted this is just personal experience and I was only there on very limited occasions but I always think they are closed because I'm the only one there. I'm always wondering, "was there a salmonella outbreak I don't know about or something???" when I go there. Maybe MI ppl just don't like it though :shrug:

Edit: Nah the videos I saw were just about them intentionally not expanding like the bigger fast food giants have, despite being significantly older than most of them. Still, never really see anyone going there in MI.
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Jan 27, 2004
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ES_Revenge wrote: White Castle is headed for bankruptcy or something, no? At least I thought I saw some articles/videos about their decline. Truth be told the times I've been near one in MI, I thought it was closed--place is like a ghost town. Now granted this is just personal experience and I was only there on very limited occasions but I always think they are closed because I'm the only one there. I'm always wondering, "was there a salmonella outbreak I don't know about or something???" when I go there. Maybe MI ppl just don't like it though :shrug:

Edit: Nah the videos I saw were just about them intentionally not expanding like the bigger fast food giants have, despite being significantly older than most of them. Still, never really see anyone going there in MI.
Restaurant Revenues rose 1.8%
But it looks like their major growth is in products it sells in supermarkets. Revenue from that line of business is up 23%
White Castle is family owned and not franchised. So their expansion isnt huge ... but its all corporate own stores.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystern/ ... ill-going/

It sounds like they are doing good. Perhaps not super starbucks/tim hortons/mcdonalds massive growth and expansion style... but a solidly run family business.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystern/ ... ill-going/
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Aug 22, 2006
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playnicee1 wrote: How does the burger get on the cooking surface? Flippy literally only flips the burgers and maybe cleans the grill. No job lost.
Even that part is easy.

What I'd really like to see is final assembly.
That's not to say it can't be done (White Castle already does this for their prepackaged burgers) but you're talking about a whole lot of automation which probably won't be paid back in a retail location that has downtimes. It makes sense for a frozen product because you can run it 24/7 without issues. A robot is only costing money at 3PM when there's 2 customers.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
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Aug 29, 2011
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Last time I was at a White Castle was in Detroit 20+ years ago. The entire order counter and kitchen were enclosed in bulletproof glass.
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Sep 14, 2012
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ES_Revenge wrote: White Castle is headed for bankruptcy or something, no? At least I thought I saw some articles/videos about their decline. Truth be told the times I've been near one in MI, I thought it was closed--place is like a ghost town. Now granted this is just personal experience and I was only there on very limited occasions but I always think they are closed because I'm the only one there. I'm always wondering, "was there a salmonella outbreak I don't know about or something???" when I go there. Maybe MI ppl just don't like it though :shrug:

Edit: Nah the videos I saw were just about them intentionally not expanding like the bigger fast food giants have, despite being significantly older than most of them. Still, never really see anyone going there in MI.
Last 2 I went to-Queens NY and Cleveland Ohio. Both quite busy. The more downscale the neighbourhood, the busier the White Castle.

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